Saturday, August 26, 2023

Cappadocia - Turkey

One last post with cards from Turkey. 
Cappadocia is also a popular tourist destination, as it has many areas with unique geological, historic, and cultural features. 
The Rock Sites of Cappadocia and the Goreme National Park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
TR-36930, sent by Zeynep.
"Cappadocia is a region in central Turkey, largely in Nevsehir Province.
The Cappadocia region is largely underlain by sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams, and ignimbrite deposits erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately 9 to 3 million years ago, during the late Miocene to Pliocene epochs. The rocks of Cappadocia near Göreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. The volcanic deposits are soft rocks that the people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out to form houses, churches and monasteries." - in: wikipedia

© BKG - Bilintur, exclusive design
One of the most famous geographical structures of Cappadocia are the fairy chimneys. Fairy Chimneys are unique formations that were produced by volcanic explosions. Tuff rock, which was created by the lava flows, was carved by wind and rain into serpentine valleys with curved cliff sides and sharp fairy chimneys. Fairy Chimneys are famous because they are unique, and beautiful and have important roles in the history of the people living there, especially early Christians.
Fairy chimneys in Turkey are around 14 million years old but the formation continues with wind and rain. So it is an ongoing process. - in:

Pamukkale - Turkey

An unusual natural and historical site with the sparkling white castle -like cascades, Pamukkale is one of the most important highlights of Turkey..
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The area was declared a World Heritage Site in 1988, together with Hierapolis.

Waters in the terraces are the sediments of the springs with calcium bicarbonate in 33C. Waters, containing mainly calcium salts and carbon-dioxide, run off the plateau's by depositing calcium while carbon-dioxide disappearing.
TR-114994, sent by Cuneyt.
The marvelous landscape of Pamukkale has been created by this gradual formation, leaving a cotton-like image. The water of Pamukkale is famous for its benefits to the eyes and skin; and its curing properties to the ills of asthma, rheumatism, as well. The fairyland Pamukkale is a must-see traveling through this region, during a holiday in Turkey.2 - in:

Blue Mosque - Turkey

Also known as the Sultan Ahmet Camii (or Sultan Ahmed Mosque), this breath-taking building is one of the most majestic Ottoman mosques in all of Turkey.

The Blue Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616, by the architect Mehmet Ağa, instructed by Sultan Ahmed I. It was designed as an imperial show of strength to complement the imposing Hagia Sophia Mosque, which faces it across Sultanahmet Square. Unlike the Hagia Sophia, however, it is supported by four "elephant foot" pillars and the central dome (23.5m in diameter and 43m high) is flanked by four semi-domes, making it nearly a square in shape. It is dubbed the Blue Mosque because of over 20,000 handmade ceramic Iznik tiles that decorate the interior, featuring many different tulips, rose, carnation, and lily designs, well lit by 260 windows.

TR-144214, sent by Ece.
Aside from its staggering size and exquisite beauty, one of the most distinctive elements of this Istanbul mosque is that it has six minarets, as opposed to the usual two or four of most of the city’s mosques. In the history of the Blue Mosque, legend has it that this is because of a misunderstanding – when the Sultan decreed there should be altın minaret (gold minarets), the architect heard altı minaret (six minarets) – an easy mistake to make! This caused some controversy, as the only other mosque with six minarets at that time was the Prophet’s mosque in Mecca – a problem the sultan overcame by ordering a seventh to be added in Mecca. - in:
If you're planning to go to Istanbul and want to visit the Blue Mosque, there are a few useful  things you'd better know before visiting it.
* Pray happens five times a day with the first call to prayer at sunrise and the last one at nightfall.The mosque closes for 90 minutes at each pray time.Avoid visiting a mosque at pray time (Especially Midday praying on Friday) or within a half hour after the ezan is chanted from the Mosque minarets.
* Before step in to Mosque, take off your shoes and put in plastic bags provided at the entrance (free of charge). This is required of all persons as part of Muslim tradition when entering a mosque. There is also no charge to enter the Blue Mosque.
* If you are women wear a head covering when entering to Blue Mosque. Head coverings are available at the Blue Mosque entrance for free. Place the fabric cover on top of your head with equal portions hanging on both sides. Take one side and wrap it around your neck, tossing it behind your back with covering your shoulders. Don't cover your face, the covering is meant to hide your hair only.
* When you are inside the mosque, remain quiet and don't use flash photography. Since this  is a place of worship, avoid staring or taking picture of those who are praying. Visit the mosque respectfully and quietly. At the Mosque exit, you can put used plastic bags in designated bin bags and return head covers to duty staff. - in:

Friday, August 25, 2023

Hagia Sophia - Turkey

The Hagia Sophia is among Istanbul's most popular and iconic historic sites – and for good reason. The massive, transcendent dome is breathtaking and can easily be gazed at for hours. A true architectural marvel, the walls are adorned by Byzantine mosaics featuring portraits of bygone emperors and representations of Christ.
Completed in the 6th century on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, Hagia Sophia remained the world’s largest cathedral for nearly a millennium until the completion of Seville Cathedral in 1520. Before being converted into a mosque in the 15th century and later into a museum in 1935, Hagia Sophia served as the centre of the Eastern Orthodox Church. - in:

"The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.
The Comnenus mosaics, located on the eastern wall of the southern gallery, date from 1122. The Virgin Mary is standing in the middle, depicted, as usual in Byzantine art, in a dark blue gown. She holds the Child Christ on her lap. He gives His blessing with His right hand while holding a scroll in His left hand. On her right side stands emperor John II Comnenus, represented in a garb embellished with precious stones. He holds a purse, symbol of an imperial donation to the church. Empress Irene stands on the left side of the Virgin, wearing ceremonial garments and offering a document. He is shown as a beardless youth, probably representing his appearance at his coronation aged seventeen. In this panel one can already see a difference with the Empress Zoe mosaics that is one century older. There is a more realistic expression in the portraits instead of an idealized representation. The empress is shown with plaited blond hair, rosy cheeks and grey eyes, revealing her Hungarian descent. The emperor is depicted in a dignified manner." - in:

Sunday, August 20, 2023


Packed to the brim with ancient monuments left by different empires, and breathtaking scenery that never fails to impress, Turkey is a dazzling destination and a unique blend of Eastern and Western culture and tradition.

These cards, with some of the country's top-rated attractions, were sent many, many years ago by Gokçe and Manuela.

Clock wise: Hagia Sofia in Istanbul; Kekova in Kas, Antalya; Hadrian Temple in Ephesus; Kusadasi in Aydin; Düden Waterfall in Antalya; Perge also in Antalya; Abant in Bolu; Alanya.
In the middle: Cappadocia. 
Hitit Color
 Yivli Minare, a landmark and Antalya 's symbol; a fishermen in Balikçi; Bodrum; an windmil in Bodrum and Fairy Chimneys rock formation  in Cappadocia.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Mostar - Bosnia

I've many travel plans, one of them is to the Balkan region. When I find the right company and have the opportunity, Mostar is one of the places I want to visit.
I've a few cards from Bosnia but the 1st of these cards is the only one written and stamped from there. Hvala Agata!! The other two were sent by Ana and Stasa.

Acid DTP
The historic town of Mostar, spanning a deep valley of the Neretva River, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as an Ottoman frontier town and during the Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mostar has long been known for its old Turkish houses and Old Bridge, Stari Most, after which it is named. In the 1990s conflict, however, most of the historic town and the Old Bridge, designed by the renowned architect Sinan, was destroyed. The Old Bridge was recently rebuilt and many of the edifices in the Old Town have been restored or rebuilt with the contribution of an international scientific committee established by UNESCO. The Old Bridge area, with its pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European architectural features, is an outstanding example of a multicultural urban settlement. - in:
The elegante Mostar Bridge spanned the River Neretva and was designed by the Ottoman (Turkish) architect Mimar Hayruddin. It was completed in 1566 after nines years of building and the surrounding town became a thriving trading centre. The bridge was 29 metres in length and stood at a height of 20 metres, a classic example of a single span, stone arch bridge and was an example of advanced technology in its time. 

Design: Acid DTP
The Old Bridge stood for 427 year, but it was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian War. After the war it was rebuilt and reopened in 2004. The reconstructed Old Bridge and Old City of Mostar is a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and of the coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities. 
It became a World Heritage site in 2005.

Stećci in Montenegro

Stećci are medieval tombstones that are only found in certain parts of Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia. There are over 70,000 stećci at 3,300 sites throughout Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. 28 of those, including three in Montenegro, are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. 
This card Marcel sent me is from the Grčko Groblje site near Žabljak, a small town in northern Montenegro.

Stećci date back to the 12th to 16th centuries (...) and were probably used to mark the graves of the nobility. They’re found in groups of anywhere from 30 to several hundred. The Stećci themselves are carved blocks of stone. The shapes can be slabs, chests, sarcophagi, pillars and crosses, and some have been set on pedestals.

The Grčko Groblje (...) lies beside Riblje Lake.
The ancient tombstones are strewn in an area of about 500 square metres, 50m from the road. There are no inscriptions on the tombstones and they’re decorated mostly with friezes, twisting bands, spirals, twining vines, crosses and hunting scenes. There are 49 stećci and it’s assumed that people from the local feudal nobility were buried here in the 14th and 15th centuries. - in:

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Schiedam - Netherlands

After a few cancelled trips in the last years due to covid and other issues, my friend Anne finally made it to the Netherlands to spend a few days with our mutual friend Tessa. They send me a card from Tessa's hometown, Schiedam. This city is known for its gin and liquor distilleries, and it is a major shipbuilding centre. The city is also known for it's windmills, the tallest traditional mills in the world. 

In the 18th century, Schiedam became the ‘jenever’ (Dutch gin) capital of the world. The windmills played an important role in the production. These cylindrical shape ‘tower stage’ mills with stone brick exterior and a movable wooden ‘cap’ or roof were built taller than the surrounding buildings, so they could catch the flow of air needed to turn the sails. By 1880, there were 400 distilleries in the city producing the famous gin of Schiedam. At the peak of 19th century, there were as many as twenty operating windmills grinding assorted grains which was then sold to the local distilleries.
Nowadays, there are only seven mills left of the twenty that once stood tall right here in the historic old town.

This is a replica mill where up to 1865 flour mill, De Kameel, once stood nearby. Due to a fire, it was demolished completely in 1868. Windmill De Kameel was officially opened for use again in 2011, equipped with a pair of grinding stones and able to generate electricity. It also has a cave where small boats can sail into the mill through a semi-circular passageway for loading and unloading. De Kameel houses the De Schiedamse Windmill Foundation. - in:


Greetings from Enschede, a city in the eastern Netherlands in the province of Overijssel and in the Twente region.

NL-5515056, sent by Ursula.
The card depicts the city's church, Grote Kerk, the statues of a war memorial in the Volkspark and a building not identified on the card.

Thursday, August 10, 2023


 Ive been to Rothenburg ob der Tauber but I don't remember seeing this church.

DE-13173758, sent by Tanja.
The Franciscan church was consecrated in 1309 and is today a Protestant church. Its interior houses the grave plates of Rothenburg’s patricians and their families. 
The Franciscan church is still home to an original, wooden rood screen. Such rood screens used to separate the monks from the people.
In the Montessori garden next to the Franciscan church is an information board about Pope Francis. The Argentinian pope learned German in the Rothenburg at the former Goethe Institute during the eighties. - in:

Monthly Fav. Surprise RR - May '23

I'm still missing a few cards from groups of RR's in which I participated, including this monthly RR, but in May I got all my cards.
This is an illustration of Tiananmen Square in the city center of Beijing, China. Outside China, the square is best known for the 1989 protests and massacre that ended with a military crackdown. 
Card sent by Hok (?).
Annerie keeps helping me with my Happy Postcrossing collection. 
2023 is the Year of the Rabbit based on Chinese zodiac. This is a Year of Water Rabbit, starting from Jan. 22, 2023 (Chinese New Year) and lasting to Feb. 9, 2024. The Years of the Rabbit include 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023...
For Chinese people, the rabbit is a tame creature representing hope and life for a long time. It is tender and lovely. The moon goddess Chang'e in the Chinese legend has a rabbit as her pet, which stimulates the thought that only this creature is amiable enough to match her noble beauty. Another way of saying is that the Rabbit is the incarnation of the moon goddess per se and it is always a symbol of pureness and auspiciousness.
Lucky Numbers: 3, 4, 9;
Lucky Colors: red, blue, pink, purple;
Lucky Flowers: snapdragon, plantain lily, nerve plant. - in:

Photo: Minna Kääriäinen

 If I had to guess, I’d say this is the castle I have the most postcards from. It's totally fine, both the cards and the castle are fantastic. This one was sent by Heli. 
Olavinlinna, literally Olof's Castle, is a 15th-century three-tower castle located in Savonlinna, Finland. It is built on an island in the Kyrönsalmi strait that connects the lakes Haukivesi and Pihlajavesi. It is the northernmost medieval stone fortress still standing.

Lookphotos / Daniel Schoenen
Not much to see of Karlsruhe Palace on this card but the building is quite huge. The card was sent by Merle. 
Karlsruhe's palace was built between 1715 and 1718. For almost 200 years it served as the residence and seat of government of the margraves, the electoral princes and grand dukes of Baden.
The palace was given its present baroque appearance in the second half of the 18th century after conversion work and extensions.
It has been home to the Baden State Museum (Badisches Landesmuseum) since 1921. Large parts of the bulding were destroyed by incendiary bombs in September 1944. When it was to be rebuilt, however, the decision was made to reconstruct only the exterior in the historically correct design. The interior was modified to suit the requirements of a modern museum. - in

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Redwood National & State Parks - USA

The Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) are located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park (established 1968) and California's Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks (dating from the 1920s), the combined RNSP contain 133,000 acres (540 km2).

Photographer: Philip Wright
US-2824132, sentby Hanna.
Located entirely within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, together, protect 45% of all remaining Coastal Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) old-growth forests, totaling at least 38,982 acres (157.75 km2).
These trees can live between 1200 to 2200 years or even more. The species includes the tallest and most massive living beings on Earth, reaching up to 115 meters in height (without the roots) and up to 9 meters in diameter, being also among the oldest macro-organisms on the planet.
© Impact Photographics
Located entirely within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, together, protect 45% of all remaining Coastal Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) old-growth forests, totaling at least 38,982 acres (157.75 km2).
In recognition of the rare ecosystem and cultural history found in the parks, the United Nations designated them a World Heritage Site on September 5, 1980 and an International Biosphere Reserve on June 30, 1983. - in: wikipedia 
On the back of the card: "Man eater? No, these loggers climbed into this undercut to emphasize the enormity of the trunk of this giant California Redwood. These men are each over 6 feet tall. The diameter of the tree is 13 1/2 feet". 
Foto: Carrie Grant

Before commercial logging and clearing began in the 1850s, coast redwoods naturally occurred in an estimated 2 million acres (the size of three Rhode Islands) along California’s coast from south of Big Sur to just over the Oregon border.
Today, only 5 percent of the original old-growth coast redwood forest remains, along a 450-mile coastal strip. Most of the coast redwood forest is now young. The largest surviving stands of ancient coast redwoods are found in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Redwood National and State Parks and Big Basin Redwoods State Park. - in

Photographer: Larry Ulrich 

Redwood National Park is famous for its giant sequoias but these trees are only one of the species in an incredibly varied ecosystem. In addition to the redwood forests, the parks preserve other indigenous flora, fauna, grassland prairie, cultural resources, portions of rivers and other streams, and 37 miles (60 km) of pristine coastline.
Grasslands of the higher ridges exhibit spectacular seasonal floral displays and provide abundant wildlife habitat.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

US-9492542 & US-9488063

 Officials from West Virginia and Utah.
US-9492542, sent by Elaine.
New River Gorge National Park & Preserve is America’s 63rd national park and one of West Virginia’s most photographed areas. The iconic steel arch bridge was once the longest in the world and welcomes travelers to this cherished region. Widely known as the second oldest river in the world, the New River cuts through extensive geological formations that make way for diverse flora and fauna. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons call this park home, and you’ll often spot a few along your travels. Hiking trails here take you to spectacular overlooks and through remnants of old coal mining towns. - in:

Photographer: John Wagner
US-9488063, sent by Gabby.
Cedar Breaks National Monument is a natural amphitheater, stretching across 4.8 km, with a depth of over 610 m, located in Utah. 
It takes a hardy plant to survive the weather conditions on the rim of the Cedar Breaks Amphitheater at over 3000 meters. There are however a few trees and shrubs that thrive in this environment, including quaking aspen. These trees got its name because of the quaking effect the small flat leaves exhibit when they are blowing in the wind. Autumn in Cedar Mountain is spectacular as the aspen leaves turn brilliant gold, a visual that is all the more dramatic as large groups of aspen crowd together. It's quite a display with white barked trunks enhancing the image. Beaver make good use of the bark for food and buildings dams and lodges.